Cheap Live Theatre in Toronto the Week of August 4th

Live Theatre under $25 in Toronto the Week of August 4, 2015

This week is all about journeys, for good or ill. For under 25 dollars, you can journey through space, across continents, and even beyond the grave. For something a little closer to home, we also have a huge amount of Summerworks programming to recommend! Check them out under the jump!

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Playlistings for the Week of August 3rd, 2015

As the summer weather beats down on us, we’ve got a great lineup of comedy shows to help you take your mind off the heat. From improv to Shakespeare to murder mysteries, there’s plenty to choose from if you want a good laugh this week–but don’t worry, there’s still plenty to choose from if you’re looking for something a little more traditional. We’ve highlighted those we’d most like to see in red text. Check it out below the cut!
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Review: Dive (The Mermaid Collective)

FidesKrucker_EarlPastko_MatthewGouveia_byJohnLauenerThe Mermaid Collective’s play Dive is a visceral experience at Toronto’s Array Space

Dive, presented by The Mermaid Collective and playing at The Array Space, lives up to its billing as “a visceral experience” in telling the story of two men conflicted by love and loss and how one man’s encounter with an enchanting mermaid in his youth shaped the rest of his life.

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Review: Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (Guild Festival Theatre)

Guild Festival Theatre presents a contemporary Romeo & Juliet in Toronto’s Guild Park

Guild Festival Theatre’s contemporary production of Romeo & Juliet at the Greek Stage in Guild Park has a slew of commendable performances and impressively high production values, especially considering that it’s set outdoors.

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Review: Spring Awakening (Randolph Academy)

Randolph Academy Spring AwakeningPhenomenal performances in Randolph Academy’s Toronto production of rock musical Spring Awakening

It’s no secret that Spring Awakening – Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s rock musical about the trials and tribulations of sexually repressed teens in 19th century Germany – is one of my favourite plays of all time. So, when I was given the opportunity to review the Randolph Academy’s production of the play – cast with actual teenagers – I was delighted.

After seeing it, I’m kind of torn about how I feel about the Randolph Academy production. On the one hand, there are several really phenomenal performances in it and I loved the multi-harmonied sound of the full cast in some of the group numbers. On the other hand there are an equal number of moments where the staging is flat (and so are the singers).

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Review: The Last Five Years (Toronto Summer Music Festival)

Vanessa Oude-Reimerink from The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years, a musical about love lost plays at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto

I’m a big fan of the musical The Last Five Years, Jason Robert Brown’s complex and emotional roller-coaster ride through five years in the lives of two lovers, whose doomed relationship is told two ways. Specifically, he tells the story chronologically while she tells it backwards, allowing for them to meet only once in the very middle. It’s a good pick for the Toronto Summer Music Festival to put on at the Isabel Bader Theatre, as the score can really live and die based on how adept its leads are at carrying a vast range of weighty emotion.

Thankfully, this production more than does justice to the material.

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Review: Animal Nature (Clay and Paper Theatre)

Animal Nature, a uniquely staged puppet show for all ages, plays in Toronto park

A caribou recites poetry. An orca serves as an ark. A bear fights an excavator. A possum plays dead (as you may have guessed). These things and more can be seen at Animal Nature, a musical puppet show running in Dufferin Grove Park until August 16.

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Review: Wrecking Ball #18: #deadcoonTO: Police Brutality (Wrecking Ball)

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Wrecking Ball’s topical show sheds light on police brutality on the Toronto stage

Wrecking Ball is a series that presents political theatre about a immediate topic in current events. This means that the pieces presented on any given night are written and rehearsed hastily and with no budget. This has obvious drawbacks in terms of quality, but it also gives artists freer reign to do cutting-edge work and say things that might be otherwise censored for fear of offending funders. At its best, Wrecking Ball gives us short plays that speak vibrant truth and asks relevant questions. Unfortunately, #deadcoonTO was not its best. Continue reading Review: Wrecking Ball #18: #deadcoonTO: Police Brutality (Wrecking Ball)

Playlistings for the Week of July 27, 2015

It’s shaping up to be a rich summer of Shakespeare here in Toronto, with several of the Bard’s works set to play this week. But be it comedy or tragedy, musical theatre or cerebral drama, there’s a little something for everyone here to help beat the heat. We’ve highlighted those we’d most like to see in red text. Check them out and see if they strike your fancy too!
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